Scholars introduced to Parkrose Business Association

See who was awarded Parkrose Business Foundation scholarships this year – and learn why they were selected …

At the June Parkrose Business Association meeting, attendees tuck into a sumptuous buffet luncheon, prepared by the catering staff of the Holiday Inn Airport.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Again this year, the Parkrose Business Foundation (PBF), the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the Parkrose Business Association (PBA) , benefitted from a “Scholarship Appeal” started at their April, 2015 meeting.

> To read about this lively meeting, and see fun photos of the “bidding”, CLICK HERE.

Donations continued to come in after the meeting. “At this time, the total amount raised stands at $7,200,” said PBA Treasurer Marsha Grabinger.

At the June 18 meeting, the 2015 PBA Scholars were introduced to the members and guests.

Showing applications and documentation of more than 40 applicants, past PBA President Wayne Stoll says they received requests from many highly-qualified candidates seeking the $2,000 scholarship award.

Members of the PBF Scholarship Selection Committee gather with the four Parkrose High School (PHS) Students who were chosen to be honored – and funded – this year.

Past PBA President Wayne Stoll, of Argay Square, said this year’s committee evaluated 42 applications for scholarships. “So many were so highly qualified, it made choosing difficult,” Stoll said.

Meet the selected PBF Scholars

2015 PBF Scholar Reid Rubsan

2015 PBF Scholar Reid Rubsan receives his plaque and check from Karen Taylor.

This Parkrose High School senior has worked to challenge himself in ways the believes will prepare him for success both in college and into his adult life and career, said Scholarship Committee member Karen Taylor as she introduced Reid Rubsan.

“I’ve placed an emphasis on developing competency, confidence, knowledge, and professionalism,” Rubsan wrote in his application.

While he has considered majoring in Political Science and Government, Rubsan said, “I’ve determined to start as an ‘undecided’ student, and explore fields of business administration, education, and law.”

About being selected, Rubsan told East Portland News, “The best part is getting to meet all of these community members who are supporting us.”

2015 PBF Scholar Mary Markham

2015 PBF Scholar Mary Markham receives her check and plaque from Bob Roberts.

By way of introduction, Scholarship Committee member Bob Roberts said that Mary Markham hopes to earn a nursing degree.

“There is little in this world worth doing that doesn’t call for compassion for those around you,” Markham remarked in her application.

“An education would provide me with irreplaceable skills, knowledge, and experience, that could then be put to work serving others,” Markham said.

“It’s really cool that this scholarship is from businesspeople in my school district, where I’ve been all my life,” Markham later told East Portland News. “It’s one thing to get a scholarship from people you don’t know. But it’s quite another, and very special, to get a scholarship from people right here, who really care about education for the students here in our neighborhood.”

2015 PBF Scholar Henderson Agbonze

Wayne Stoll presents a check and plaque to 2015 PBF Scholar Henderson Agbonze.

The scholar who was presented by Scholarship Committee member Wayne Stoll was Henderson Agbonze.

“It’s a rough world out there, and we all need some help now and then,” Agbonze wrote in his application – talking about his younger days, living with an abusive father figure, and often in homeless shelters.

“Going to college will help me learn more about other cultures and other views of life,” Agbonze said. “This would be a major achievement for me, to be the first black male in my family in the last four generations to go to college. I want to become an anesthesiologist, because it is a great career, and I can help my community.”

Agbonze told East Portland News, “The best thing about being awarded this scholarship is that lowers the financial stress in going to college. I’ll be attending Western Oregon University, and it takes a lot of money to go to college. This is a big lift of my financial burden from my shoulders.”

2015 PBF Scholar Danielle Kolb

2015 PBF Scholar Danielle Kolb receives her plaque and check from Sharen Fowler.

The fourth and final awardee was presented by Scholarship Committee member Sharen Fowler to Danielle Kolb.

“Being strong in the face of adversity, and being a leader, are the strengths on which Danielle Kolb hopes to build,” Fowler said.

“When life gets hard, and you want to give up, remember that life is full of ups and downs, and without the downs, the ups would mean nothing,” is Kolb’s favorite quote, she said.

Kolb hopes to attend Oregon State University, and study Physical Therapy.

“Just knowing that I have this money now, to pay for the expenses I need to cover, is so helpful,” Kolb told East Portland News. “This is going to help me to better focus on my schooling.”

As has been his tradition, Wayne Stoll presents each of the scholars with treats to “help keep up their energy during late night study sessions.

Wayne Stoll presents the new PBS Scholars Plaque to PHS Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Dave Richardson.

The Parkrose Business Association/Foundation has awarded 67 scholarships totaling $73,500 from 1998 through 2015.

Meet with the Parkrose Business Association
One of our favorite business groups next gets together a week later in the month than usual, on July 23, at 11:30 a.m. Come and meet this group of fun and energized business people.

Their meeting is in outer East Portland at Holiday Inn Airport 8439 NE Columbia Boulevard (in the hotel building, around the back, at the former Flirt’s nightclub entrance – not the Convention Center next door. The meeting is free, and the buffet lunch is $17, including dessert and gratuity; reservations are NOT required.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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